July 2, 2020 / 8:01 PM / a month ago

High-flying facemasks arrive at Mexican hospitals by drone

An employee of Sincronia Logistica looks at a drone loaded with personal protective gear and other essential equipment for delivery at a public hospital, in Queretaro, Mexico June 26, 2020. REUTERS/Alberto Fajardo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - To eliminate the risk of contagious human beings, a Mexican company has launched a drone delivery service to get clean medical supplies to hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico-City based firm Sincronia Logistica has begun deploying unmanned drones to deliver personal protective gear and other essential equipment to public hospitals in the central state of Queretaro, north of the capital.

Mexican healthcare workers have staged protests nationwide over the lack of personal protective equipment. The drones help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus by allowing for quick, contact-free drop-offs.

“In addition to reducing time, we’ve also reduced human contact,” said Diego Garcia, director of business excellence at Sincronia Logistica.

The innovation comes as the pandemic has surged in Mexico to give the country the sixth-highest death toll worldwide, with some 28,510 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities.

Sincronia Logistica says it has used drones to deliver donations of antibacterial gel, facemasks, gloves, 3D-printed face shields and other basic supplies for healthcare workers.

Doctors value the service, said Juana Angelica Garcia, director of the El Marques public hospital in the city of Queretaro, the state capital.

“In a situation where you need medical materials supplied fast without risking the health of the people involved, drone delivery has become a comprehensive and sure-fire option,” she said in a statement.

Reporting by Alberto Fajardo; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by David Gregorio

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